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 Everett True

how not to write a press release

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Brand new music from New York we know you’ll love

Look Behind You Records to me

Hello Mr True,

We’d like to introduce the latest release from Look Behind You records.

Band: Shark?

Title: I’m An Animal

“Rough Trade say: Shark? are from New York City and this is an incredible debut. ‘I’m An Animal’ sounds like some undiscovered 1976 band from NYC – it’s lo-fi and intimate yet still has total dynamics. Think a mix of Modern Lovers, Pavement and The Strokes.

Sums it up nicely. Shark? have established themselves as one of the most talked about bands in New York.

We think they are awesome. We hope you do too.

Listen + Download Now


If you like it please feel free to download and stream the track or embed the Soundcloud widget – whichever works best for you. However, it’d be great if you don’t offer it for download. Instead we’ve got an equally superb track entitled Let’s Roll we’d love you to giveaway which you can grab from here:

The I’m An Animal EP will be available to download from iTunes and as a special, limited edition 7″ from December 6 2010



  • NYC is not a cool place to claim that your band is from. It hasn’t been since approximately 1975.
  • Sounds like a cross between “Modern Lovers, Pavement and The Strokes”? Well no. They don’t. They sound like they’ve listened to The Strokes’ first album stuck on repeat for three years and that’s it. Those three reference points are guaranteed to put the back up of any self-respecting music critic because they pertain to be cool but really, really aren’t; any music critic worth their salt will have a knowledge and love of ‘alternative’, ‘lo-fi’ music that extends way beyond those three bands. Also, which era Modern Lovers? Which era Pavement? (What, the crap later years: hmm, great aspirations.)
  • Lo-fi? Fuck off with describing bands like that already. It’s not a sound to aspire to. Plus, Shark? clearly haven’t been recorded on the zero budget and crap tinny tape recorder that characterised some of Daniel Johnston’s and Lou Barlow’s earliest recordings. This is about as ‘lo-fi’ as Kings Of Leon. Guided By Voices, this isn’t. Even though it tries quite hard to be in places.
  • “Total dynamics”, huh? Wow, that really puts paid to any lingering doubts that the song might sound crap because it’s also “lo-fi”.
  • Sounds like an “undiscovered band from 1976”, huh? No. They don’t. They really don’t. They sound like a highly polished version of music that people were listening to in 2001 pretending that they were listening to music from 1978.
  • Everett True is not my real name. To call me Mr True is nonsensical. Still it’s better than all those asswipes referring to me as ‘Jerry’ on message boards like they’re earned the right to speak to me on a first name basis.
  • Wait a second. “Brand new music from New York we know you’ll love.” Boy, they’ve really got my number haven’t they?


  • Maybe this is how you write a press release. It’s got you listening to them, hasn’t it? Listen, Shark? aren’t bad. That’s it. End of review.

18 Responses to how not to write a press release

  1. Tim Footman November 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Bad name though.

  2. Jack November 26, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Take it easy, Jerry.

  3. Everett True November 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    oh, very good.

  4. Shaun November 26, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Fuck man, have some heart. Anything that has “total dynamics” is worth a listen, as far as I’m concerned.

  5. Everett True November 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm


  6. Trent November 27, 2010 at 12:11 am

    If only they had said New York City a couple more times, I would have checked them out.

  7. Everett True November 27, 2010 at 6:10 am

    (from Facebook)

    Rachel Beth Coburn, Paisley Pattenden, Dominic Valvona and 2 others like this.

    Massimo Usai
    uuuuh, it’s good to read about that because I have something to send your way…
    13 hours ago · Like

    Joanna Nilson
    how do you write a good one? you are such a negative nelly.
    12 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person

    Massimo Usai
    supposedly you don’t write one, a PR agency does that for you in exchange of $$$. that’s why I just use telepathy to inform the press about my new music…
    12 hours ago · Like

    Everett True
    not by going for the most ridiculous comparison points around. be realistic, but enthusiastic. give quotes that lazy journos can use. plenty of information, presented in a clear fashion. one sheet.

    actually QUT want me to lecture in this subject next year…
    11 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Joanna Nilson
    that band probably think they are doing that. Music press releases are easy but it’s really hard to make an interesting one.
    11 hours ago · Like

    Massimo Usai
    it can be interesting if what you’re doing with your music also is…
    11 hours ago · Like

    Blue Straggler
    Ahem. “My name is Everett True.”
    7 hours ago · Like

    Blue Straggler
    I was crushed when I found it wasn’t True 🙂
    7 hours ago · Like

    Massimo Usai
    I think it implies something, you know? a nod to the notion that not everything you read is actually real, maybe? I like to think that way.
    7 hours ago · Like

    Blue Straggler
    Ever read truth? 😛
    7 hours ago · Like · 1 person

    Massimo Usai
    yeah, a comment on Michael Jackson’s video for GIVE INTO ME on Youtube deeming him “The greatest entertainer of all time”
    7 hours ago · Like

    Blue Straggler
    On the Michael Jackson theme, I saw Elizabeth Taylor described as “the biggest film star in the world”. This may have been true in 1963, but three years ago, when she’d appeared in approximately 3 films (including a Flintstones one) in the last 2 decades, it was stretching truth somewhat!
    6 hours ago · Like

  8. David November 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Hey Mr True 🙂

    Just to clarify .. “NYC is not a cool place to claim that your band is from. It hasn’t been since approximately 1975.”

    Do you mean any inference to NYC roots is just plain “wankery” in today’s (post ’76) world or bands hailing out of NYC no longer have any the same impact and hence inferences to such should be dropped?

    Personally, I am enjoying a lot of music coming out of NYC (only if I can include Brooklyn into the mix)

  9. Everett True November 27, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I was going to put in a sub-clause stating, “Brookyln? Sure. Williamsburg – definitely” but figured that was too obvious. Manhattan Island itself is just a tourist reserve these days, isn’t it?

  10. David November 27, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Yes, Manhattan Island is a tourist reserve, I guess it has been for years (decades?) – so I agree that the “NYC- tag” doesn’t mean much these days… apart from The Strokes … somehow they ooze NYC – as did Interpol’s debut – but “Is This It” was a bit of a wake up – music needed some sort of kick start and they provided it (for my listening pleasures anyway).

  11. Roman Tagoe December 1, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Dear ‘Mr True’,
    I’m the person who sent you the press release that was the subject of this blog post.

    I appreciate you taking the time to read it and to listen to the track. I also appreciate the fact you respected our request to not make the track available for download.

    I make no claim that this is a perfect example of a press release. My colleague and I who composed it are by no means professionals. We’re just two guys who love music who found a band they liked and decided to spend a lot of spare time and a little bit of money supporting them. We don’t write these for a living. This is the first one we’ve ever sent.

    The bulk of what you chose to take issue with was not written by us. As it clearly states in the email the quote at the top comes courtesy of Rough Trade. I’m sure you know Rough Trade is one of the most respected record shops in the UK. The guys there wrote what we believe to be a flattering appraisal of a band we care about. They know their stuff and as such we took it as a badge of honour and decided to use it. It may not be as nuanced as someone of your experience may wish it to be but for us it was the best summation of how we felt about the band and a good name to quote.

    Fair enough, we over did the New York thing. As for your assertion that it hasn’t been cool to say your band is from their since 1975 this seem frankly ludicrous. We’re considerably younger than you. Many of the bands loved by our generation have come from the city/ state. Which district/ area/ street they come from may be of paramount importance to you but not to us. We had some reservations about the subject line of our message but hey, you read it. Would you have done so if referenced some band you’d never heard of?

    I don’t know you, nor would I claim to, hence why I tried to show some level of respect by calling you Mr True. I’m no fool, I know this isn’t your actual name. However, at the top of the very page where you mock me you calling you this it clearly says “Mr name is Everett True.” and you say people who call you Jerry are “asswipes”. Fair enough, this was an unsolicited email but when contacting you what should we call you?

    The page also states “I am a music critic. This is what I do. I criticise music.” It seems a shame you preferred spend your time dedicating your considerable critical faculties to the method of delivery not the music therein. We sent this email to many people. Many didn’t give it the time of day. You did and, as I said, we appreciate that. However, they either had a better use of their time or were too polite to nit-pick at it in a public forum. Maybe a more accurate title for you post would have been “how not to write a press release you’re sending to the man who calls himself Everett True because he may needlessly pull it apart in order to show how much cleverer he is than the person who composed it.


    Maybe this is just a very clever way of writing a review. Maybe this is just a novel form of music criticism.

  12. Everett True December 1, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Roman, I appreciate you taking the time to send me the music, and to reply to my blog entry. I apologise if it upset you. It wasn’t particularly supposed to. It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. (Seriously, do you really believe I’m a big enough asshole to be upset about “all those asswipes referring to me as ‘Jerry’ on message boards like they’re earned the right to speak to me on a first name basis”?)

    The pay-off line at the end gives it away: “Maybe this is how you write a press release. It’s got you listening to them, hasn’t it? Listen, Shark? aren’t bad. That’s it. End of review.” It was indeed a novel form of criticism. (I have a long history of fucking with the form, as any of my old readers at The Stranger could tell you.) I don’t have access to traffic stats here, but I would merit way more people read this piece and then checked out the band then would have done if it had been another bog-standard piece of music ‘journalism’ giving the reader a potted history of Shark? lifted entirely from the press release and a couple of reference points (also lifted from the press release) and maybe a couple of enthusiastic adjectives.

    I feel it’s important to critique all parts of a record release: pop music does not exist in a vacuum. I appreciate your passion for it.

  13. Ben Harding December 1, 2010 at 9:23 am

    “(Seriously, do you really believe I’m a big enough asshole to be upset about “all those asswipes referring to me as ‘Jerry’ on message boards like they’re earned the right to speak to me on a first name basis”?)”

    Um, yeah, sometimes, if you’re feeling particularly grumpy…

    I, too, admire your passion for music you love, chaps. If it wasn’t for people like you, then neither of my bands would have got off the ground, never mind had moderately successful careers.

    ET hated us, too. Well, maybe ‘hated’ is a bit strong – ‘was indifferent to’ would be more accurate. Which always annoyed me, because he was/is one of those critics whom you wanted to have an opinion about what you did, whichever way that went.

    Best of British,


  14. Jerry True December 1, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I agreee with E.T. on this one, and whats with TOTAL DYNAMICS look at the wave form, ITS A UCKING RECTANGLE, i dont see any dynamics on that shit, looks like overt the top compression aka the opposite of any dynamics

  15. Roman Tagoe December 1, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Everett, (I’m going to stick with this name from now on). It was only as I wrote the words “Maybe this is a just a very clever way of writing a music review” that it dawned on me this may indeed be the case.

    I apologise for misunderstanding your intentions – maybe you assumed the role too well? As a music fan from a generation starved of (and maybe unwilling to seek out decent writing it seems your efforts were lost on me rather.

    It’s a shame. Many is the time I’ve decried the likes of the NME, criticised lazy bloggers (of which I count myself as one) and harked back to a time when the form was an art – strange, challenging and unique. It seems when not accustomed such writing you must develop the taste for it and may not recognise it when you see it. I respect your ambition.

    It seems insincere to thank you now. Let’s just say when I said I appreciated you taking the time to listen to the music I meant it.

  16. Shark? December 7, 2010 at 2:52 am

    We’re from Brooklyn.


  17. hannah golightly June 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    When you pronounce Shark? does your voice have to go up in pitch at the end of the word in a questioning manner? It’s possibly a generation thing, and I don’t ‘get it’, but if you have to question your own name, then it’s like you have amnesia or something and you can’t remember who you are. Or is there an answer to the question Shark? And if so, what is it?

  18. Doug May 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Change the band name to Total Dynamics. That’s waaaaay better.

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